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[89] In this service he continued until 1663, when, notwithstanding his sturdy republican principles, he was appointed secretary to the Russian embassy. On his return, in 1665, he was again elected to Parliament, and continued in the public service until the prorogation of the Parliament of 1675.

The boldness, the uncompromising integrity and irreproachable consistency of Marvell, as a statesman, have secured for him the honorable appellation of ‘the British Aristides.’ Unlike too many of his old associates under the Protectorate, he did not change with the times. He was a republican in Cromwell's day, and neither threats of assassination, nor flatteries, nor proffered bribes, could make him anything else in that of Charles II. He advocated the rights of the people at a time when patriotism was regarded as ridiculous folly; when a general corruption, spreading downwards from a lewd and abominable Court, had made legislation a mere scramble for place and emolument. English history presents no period so disgraceful as the Restoration. To use the words of Macaulay, it was ‘a day of servitude without loyalty and sensuality without love, of dwarfish talents and gigantic vices, the paradise of cold hearts and narrow minds, the golden age of the coward, the bigot, and the slave. The principles of liberty were the scoff of every grinning courtier, and the Anathema Maranatha of every fawning dean.’ It is the peculiar merit of Milton and Marvell, that in such an age they held fast their integrity, standing up in glorious contrast with clerical apostates and traitors to the cause of England's liberty.

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